For me, magic is the shared moment of curiosity where the magician designs an amusing experience that transcends the audience’s expectation and helps them see beyond mundane reality. I believe that the culture of magical sharing is the culture of give and take, where there is an exchange of inspiration and permission to push the boundaries. Once people are inspired to think beyond what they know and have the personal permission to act upon it, they are equipped to be the change agent for society; pursuing things that are even more magical, challenging the status quo, and tackling difficulties in front of them. Inspiration grows aspiration. Magic incites magic. Therefore, I see my role in designing magical technology as the way to build a better society, a more resilient world.
In my TEDx ASU talk titled “Prototyping The Impossible,” I shared my skills of prototyping across computable and uncomputable mediums to create a smooth transition between mind and matter, which allows me to execute projects quickly. Another reason I can handle and lead many exciting projects is due to the fact that I have a great support team and many past collaborators. I have cofounded the Futuristic Research in Enigmatic and Aesthetics Knowledge ( FREAK Lab ) with a network of affiliated researchers from around the world that push the frontier of research in wearable technology, biodigital, machine learning, and space exploration.
As for the future of magic, I believe in the next generation of technology that taps into the deeper relationship between cognition and creativity, people and programmability that will enrich our experience in this world and beyond. Here I present three areas of research interest: wearable magic, programmable magic, and the ultimate magic–space, which I would like to pursue at MIT Media Lab. These three areas represent three unique labs I admire and appreciate their visions.